ANOTHER REMINDER OF THE REAL WORLD – AT 8:48 A.M. ET: German intelligence has discovered a major haul of Al Qaeda documents, providing a picture of what the group, though weakened, plans for the West. From CNN:
Future plots include the idea of seizing cruise ships and carrying out attacks in Europe similar to the gun attacks by Pakistani militants that paralyzed the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008. Ten gunmen killed 164 people in that three-day rampage.
Terrorist training manuals in PDF format in German, English and Arabic were among the documents, too, according to intelligence sources.
U.S. intelligence sources tell CNN that the documents uncovered are "pure gold;" one source says that they are the most important haul of al Qaeda materials in the last year, besides those found when U.S. Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a year ago and killed the al Qaeda leader.
One document was called "Future Works." Its authorship is unclear, but intelligence officials believe it came from al Qaeda's inner core. It may have been the work of Younis al Mauretani, a senior al Qaeda operative until his capture by Pakistani police in 2011.
The document appears to have been the product of discussions to find new targets and methods of attack. German investigators believe it was written in 2009 -- and that it remains the template for al Qaeda's plans.
Investigative journalist Yassin Musharbash, a reporter with the German newspaper Die Zeit, was the first to report on the documents. One plan: to seize passenger ships. According to Musharbash, the writer "says that we could hijack a passenger ship and use it to pressurize the public."
Musharbash takes that to mean that the terrorists "would then start executing passengers on those ships and demand the release of particular prisoners."
The plan would include dressing passengers in orange jump suits, as if they were al Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and then videotaping their execution
COMMENT: We are being assured by the Obamanas that Al Qaeda has become a weakened organization, which is true. But Japan was a desperately weakened nation in 1945 and produced ghastly American casualties at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. For a terrorist organization, which dreams of things like attacks on hotels, "weakened" may not make that much of a difference.
Eternal vigilance is required.
May 1, 2012